SLA CE Course Blogging for News: Introduction to Blogs and Feeds, June 5, 2005

06/03/05, posted by j

Jessica Baumgart
Harvard University’s Office of News and Public Affairs
j’s scratchpad
Special Libraries Association 2005 Annual Conference Continuing Education Course Blogging for News

Introduction to Blogs and Feeds
Sunday, June 5, 2005
blog post pointing to this story
Liz Donovan’s presentation
Follow-up notes

This presentation is on the Web at: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/jkbaumga/stories/storyReader$3640.

Tucows generously donated some of their Blogware blogs for us to use during the course.

The World as a Blog

My experience with blogging: I’ve been blogging since April 2003 and now contribute to thirty blogs, most of which are public, collaborative blogs. The blogs run on six platforms: Manila, Blogger, TypePad, Blogware, and Frassle. This blog runs on Manila. You are looking at an item in the stories section, a place usually reserved for longer posts. The front page of my blog is elsewhere.

Librarians should care about blogs for at least two big reasons: blogs are a great communication tool for both internal and external purposes and blogs are sources of information.

I. What is a weblog?

  • Definitions vary

  • Blog software enables easy updating of Web pages, bloggers don’t necessarily have to know HTML
  • There are many different kinds of blogs, different kinds of platforms for blogging
  • Can blog on the Web, on an intranet, etc.

II. How do People Use Blogs?

  • Why blog:

    • Communication
    • Knowledge management
    • Annotated list of links
    • Networking, fostering community
    • Sharing sources
    • Easy to archive and retrieve material
  • Why read blogs

III. What Libraries, News Libraries, Journalists, and News Organizations are doing with Blogs

IV. Feeds and Aggregators

V. How to Find Blogs and Feeds

VI. How to Start Blogging

  • Think about what you want to blog/need from a blog and select appropriate software for the task.
    • This is not necessarily easy. It’s similar to picking library automation software or an archiving system.
    • Blog platforms may be similar, but they aren’t the same.
    • More details about picking blog software
  • Take some time to really learn about the system you choose.
  • Find out your support options: discussion list, superusers, help desk, etc.
  • Market your blog
  • Start casting those bottles into the ocean (I’m being figurative here. I’m not advocating for pollution.)

VII. Collaborative Blogging

  • Multiple people can contribute to a blog

  • Works well for projects with multiple contributors
  • Like all group projects, people need buy-in and encouragement

VIII. Blogging on Multiple Blogs

  • What goes where?

  • Posting the same item in multiple places
  • Managing multiple blogs
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